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Virginia Hospitals Want Lawmakers to Crack Down on Medical Hackers

Marcie Casas / Creative Commons

Hacking is not just a problem in politics and banking. It’s also becoming an increasing worry for hospitals. And now they’re asking lawmakers in Virginia to help them crack down.

Those machines at the hospital are not just taking your heart rate and blood pressure. Many of them are also hooked up to the internet, which means they can be hacked. That’s why Chris Bailey at the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association says he wants members of the General Assembly to make hijacking a computer system a Class 5 felony.

“Health care is unfortunately an attractive target for hackers. Health care information is valuable, and so we have to elevate our game and we need some help from policymakers to play defense on it.”

Toni Ardabell, CEO of Bon Secours, says this is a real concern right now among hospitals across the world.  

“There was a hospital in California that was held hostage and couldn’t access any of their medical records, and so they had to pay - I don’t know - 200,000 bits or something to get access to their medical records.”

Legislation increasing the criminal penalties for taking unauthorized control of a computer or a system is being pushed by Delegate Chris Collins and Senator Glenn Sturtevant, both Republicans.

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